Information available through our Publication Scheme will normally be free of charge. However, the Health Board can refuse an entire request if it would cost too much or take too much staff time to deal with the request. The Freedom of Information Act recognises that freedom of information requests are not the only demand on the resources of a public authority. They should not be allowed to cause a drain on your time, energy and finances to the extent that they negatively affect your normal public functions.
Currently, the cost limit for complying with a request or a linked series of requests from the same person or group is set at £600 for central government, Parliament and the armed forces and £450 for all other public authorities. The biggest cost is likely to be staff time at a rate of £25 per person per hour, regardless of who does the work, including external contractors. This means a limit of 18 or 24 staff hours, depending on whether the £450 or £600 limit applies to your public authority. An organisation can refuse a request if it estimates that the cost of compliance would exceed this limit. This provision is found at section 12 of the Act.
Members of the public are also entitled to request information from public bodies under various Acts. These include Freedom of Information, Data Protection, Access to Health Records and Environmental Information Regulations. Depending on the nature of the request the Health Board may be entitled to charge before releasing the information.
For further information please contact:
Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
St Cadoc's Hospital
Telephone: 01633 435959